Below are the headlines found on The Leadership Online Newspaper for today, Monday, 18 December, 2017.

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
With just one week to Christmas and New Year celebrations, there are fears of possible shut down of the electricity sector, following fresh threats by gas producers in the country to stop gas supply to Power Generation Companies (GenCos).

The gas producers are protesting the huge debt arising from non-payment of gas supplied to the GenCos.

The threat, if carried out, would lead to a nationwide blackout, as 85 per cent of the country’s electricity is generated from thermal (gas fired) plants.

LEADERSHIP gathered that gas producers are owed in excess of $500 million (N153.125 billion at N306.25 per dollar) and are having problems keeping their operations going, repaying their loans and investing in new gas projects.

To this effect, president of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) has warned that the trend has the potential to plunge the entire sector and the nation into a crisis unless the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) releases the N701 billion intervention fund meant for the sector.

He said the systemic illiquidity and build-up of debt is the major challenge affecting the power sector.

He also said that removing the burden of foreign exchange risk/exposure, which is currently being unfairly borne by the gas suppliers, will have remarkable positive impact.

According to him, past debts should be cleared, invoices for gas supply paid in full as at when due and gas producers should be able to access foreign exchange at the same rate at which their invoices are paid to guarantee stable electricity supply.

Thomas who is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of Frontier Oil and Gas told LEADERSHIP exclusively that the electricity industry challenges stem from a number of systemic problems that have not been properly addressed for decades.
Mon, 18 Dec 2017
The federal government has hinted that it is planning to make the annual Calabar Carnival a major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, dislosed this in Calabar while flagging off the third dry run of the 2017 Carnival with the theme, ‘Migration’.

He said the carnival, which has united the people over the years and attracted wider participation, was the longest street party in the world, with 12 kilometre-long route.

According to the minister, it was time for people to start seeing the carnival beyond entertainment by looking at the seriousness and the message it conveys.

His words: “We are pushing the Calabar carnival to be a major foreign exchange earner for the country. We have here today 26 beauty queens from 26 African countries, who are contesting for the 2017 Miss Africa Pageant.

“That is a big statement because each of these young ladies are going to spend two weeks here and will go back to their countries as our own Ambassadors.

“They will tell the story of what they have seen and the hospitality of Cross River, and that is a big plus for the state and the country.
Mon, 18 Dec 2017
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said federal government’s embracement of digital payment could save between $5 and $9 billion (N3.2trillion), which is about 1.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), for Nigeria.

Managing Director of the Fund, Christine Lagarde, disclosed this while speaking at the Foundations of Technological Transformation in Africa organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) held in Ethiopia at the weekend.

In her speech titled, ‘The impact of technology for the economies of Africa and the new opportunities is created for the next generation’, the IMF chief said that technology of all kinds need public involvement and good public-private sector partnerships to succeed.

On how governments can leverage digital tools, she said, “IMF analysis in our recently published book, ‘Digital Revolutions in Public Finance’, shows that across the developing world, countries could save around one per cent of GDP by updating their government payment systems from cash to digital. In some places in Africa the potential is even higher”.

The IMF boss observed that Information Technology is already shaping Africa but right investments remain a powerful tool to help build stronger economies for Africa in the Future.

Largade also outlined how economic diversification is part of the solution and how it is critical to strike the right balance between investment and debt sustainability.

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
Spokesperson to the Kogi State governor, Kingsley Fanwo has finally broken his silence on the raging allegation of double registration leveled against the his boss, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

Speaking in Lokoja at the weekend, Fanwo said the governor is “upbeat in the midst of allegation of double registration against him”, insisting that the Governor is prepared to prove his innocence.

“We have not said anything about the allegation because we have to allow our legal team take it up and expose the incoherence and falsehood surrounding the politically orchestrated allegation.

“The governor will soon come out to lay the truth on the table. Impregnable facts will dwarf the current campaign of calumny against the person of Governor Yahaya Bello.

“INEC had told the world they had no evidence of double registration. They also gave dates during which the purported double registration took place. They may have to be confronted with their own words.

“Those calling for the Governor’s resignation over a mere allegation have further exposed their ignorance and desperation. They need to wait till 2019 to test their popularity among the people of Kogi State. Why are they sounding critical publicly while sending emissaries to plead with the Governor for the remedy of their dimming political hope ahead of 2019? Their hypocrisy will soon be a public knowledge.”

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
BY BERNARD TOLANI DADA, UyoThe Member representing Abak FEDERAL Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, was at the weekend honoured by the prestigious socio-cultural association of youths leaders of Eket nation for empowering over 1,000 jobless youths across the State.The lawmaker, it was learnt, empowered the youths in oil and gas training, information technology, scholarships and other vocational skills.Ekon, chairman of the Houses Committee on Local Contents, was acc 

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
By PATRICK OCHOGA, Benin CityEdo State governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has called on world leaders to respect and protect the rights of legal migrants, as the frequent movement of people to deploy their skills and expertise across the globe has become inevitable in a fast globalising, highly interconnected world.Obaseki said this on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Migrants Day, marked every December 18, by the United Nations.The governor said globalisation and development hav 

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, Port HarcourtRivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government must as a matter of urgency release funds for tackling issues of environmental degradation and security in the Niger Delta.He said while he will not condemn the release of a whopping $1billion to tackle Boko Haram, the environmental and security challenges in the Niger Delta far outweigh the Boko Haram conflict.Wike, spoke yesterday during the Annual G 

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
BY Stellamaries Amuwa, AbujaA group under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Organizations for Justice and Equity (Coalition-JE), has urged the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, and the Nigeria Police Force to vacate the National headquarters of Peace Corps of Nigeria, which they allegedly illegally sealed.Comrade Olayemi Success, Convener, who spoke to Journalists on behalf of the coalition at a press briefing in Abuja recently, stated that the rate at which the police bos 

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
BY AHURAKA ISAH, AbujaThe High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Apo has commenced hearing in the N50 million fundamental right enforcement suit instituted by a group of land owners against the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over the alleged forceful, illegal seizure and occupation of their properties and lands by the police till February 5.The plaintiffs, Yusuf Goya and Aminu Isah, representing a group called Incorporated Trustees of Apo XK Extension Residents Assoc 

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
BY Sunday Isuwa, AbujaThe Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has felicitated with president Mohammadu Buhari on his 75th birth day anniversary, asking God to grant him strong health and wisdom to govern the country to the path of economic growth.The chairman of IPAC, Mohammad Nalado, in a statement he issued in Abuja, said that the IPAC welcomes on board the 21 new parties recently registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).According to the statement, IPAC said President 

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
BY AGBO-PAUL AUGUSTINE, AbujaFormer President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has clarified issues bothering his recent invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged financial transactions.In a statement signed by his media assistant, Mr Paul Mumeh, yesterday in Abuja, Senator Mark said his attention has been drawn to media reports wherein it was reported that former President of the Senate, Sen. David Mark was quizzed by Economic and Financial Crimes Commissi 

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
BY ANDY ASEMOTA, KatsinaThe federal government has released about N256 million for disbursement as N5,000 monthly stipends to lift less privileged persons cross abject poverty line in Katsina State, Tukur Shehu Rumah, official of the National Social Safety Nets Programme, has said.Rumah, who confirmed this while monitoring the disbursement of the funds released for the payment across the state at the weekend, assured that commitment of the present administration to the programme designed to ease 

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
BY SAM EGWU, LokojaThe Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Kolawole Mathew, has charged members of the House of Assembly to deliver more dividend of democracy to the constituency to justify their election into the House.Hon Kolawole stated this over the weekend at Ankpa during the commissioning of some projects executed by the member representing Ankpa 11 constituency, Hon Momo Rabiu Alfa, noting that it was through execution of projects that the people will enjoy democracy dividend 

Mon, 18 Dec 2017
BY ABU NMODU, MinnaIn view of the upsurge in kidnapping and other crime rate in Niger State, governor Abubakar Sani Bello, has boosted all round security patrol in the state with 90 new Hilux trucks for one-stop security response call centre.He stated at the commissioning of the centre fully equipped to coordinate and respond to any security threats or outbreak from all parts of the state at the weekend in Minna that this is in furtherance to our concerted effort in making sure that our people a 
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